Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Restaurant to open in prison chapel

Brixton is among the prisons to run a restaurant.

A restaurant where prisoners prepare and serve food is set to open at a women's jail, Justice Minister Simon Hughes said today.

A disused chapel within the grounds of HMP Styal, in Wilmslow, Cheshire, has been chosen as a suitable building for the project.

The restaurant will be open to the public from spring 2015 if planning permission is granted, Mr Hughes said.

It will be run by the Ministry of Justice and the Clink Charity, which operates restaurants in the men's prison estate at HMPs High Down, Cardiff and Brixton.

HMP Styal is also a young offenders institute (YOI).

Female prisoners at HMP Send, in Surrey, are also to be trained in growing speciality vegetables and salad, according to Mr Hughes.

The Clink Charity will be involved in the project, which starts in May, and will employ 20 women.

The produce will be supplied to the prison restaurants at High Down and Brixton.

In a written statement, Mr Hughes said the projects would increase employment opportunities for female offenders.

Of the new restaurant, he said: " Subject to planning permission, we will open a restaurant at HMP/YOI Styal.

"Here, offenders will be employed to prepare and serve the food while working towards accreditation which is recognised in the industry.

"A disused chapel has been identified as a suitable building for the restaurant within the grounds of HMP/YOI Styal and we are looking forward to opening the doors of the restaurant to the public in spring 2015."

Guidelines for the Clink Restaurant state all visitors must be aged 18 or over, may have to have their fingerprints taken and undergo an airport-style security search, bring a maximum of £50 cash and can only pay by cheque or invoice if previously agreed.

Mobile phones and Sim cards are prohibited along with cameras and chewing gum, among other items.

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